Alternative postharvest pre-treatment strategies for quality and microbial safety of ‘Granny Smith’ apple

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 7, May 2021
Nyamende N.E., Domtchouang F.R., Belay Z.A., Keyser Z., Oyenihi A., Caleb O.J.

Over the years, chemical pre-treatments have been used intensively to maintain apple quality and reduce decay during postharvest. This conduct has been reported to have a negative impact on environment and human health. This study aimed to investigate alternative approaches such as hot water (HW) and electrolyzed water (WE) treatments for decay management of ‘Granny Smith’ apples. Two different sets of experiments were set up for this study. In experiment 1, the effects of HW treatment (45 °C) under varying dipping durations (5, 10 and 15 min) on physicochemical quality of apple were investigated. In experiment 2, the curative efficacy of slightly alkaline electrolyzed water (SAl-EW) (50, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 mg L−1) against Botrytis cinerea was investigated. Hot water treatment duration (15 min) had beneficial effects on flesh firmness, fruit colour, total soluble solid (TSS) and titritable acidity (TA) by the end of the storage. In contrast, a significant reduction in fruit weight and TA values (p < 0.05) were observed in control fruit. The SAl-EW treatments against B. cinerea resulted in a significant reduction in lesion zones compared to the untreated control fruit. Curative efficacy was most effective at concentrations of 200–500 mg L−1 for 5 °C and 300–500 mg L−1 for 24 °C. These findings suggest the potential of combining lower concentrations of SAl-EW with other hurdle techniques for better preservation of fresh apples.